This episode does most of the heavy linking to connect The Sea Devils with Doctor Who and the Silurians. On the plus side, this includes some call-backs to many of the most memorable moments of the earlier story: the man whose mind is broken by an encounter with a race memory, and the Doctor’s first encounter with a “Sea Silurian” where he again offers the hand of friendship and, beautifully, tells the monster not to be scared.
But it also leads to some of the most tortuous dialogue inflicted on a BBC1 audience before 1982:
JO: The Silurians, wasn’t it? The Brigadier was telling me
DOCTOR: That’s a complete misnomer. The chap who discovered them must have got the period wrong. No, properly speaking they should have been called the Eocenes
JO: That was that race of super reptiles that had been in hibernation for billions of years, wasn’t it?
DOCTOR: That’s right, and if you want my opinion there’s another of their colonies right here beneath us
Even Katy Manning can’t pull off these lines, and so speeds through them as quickly as possible, looking vaguely apologetic.
Pertwee and Delgado again compete for the funniest bit of business. The Doctor smugly declares his lashed-up radio transmitter a ‘remarkably efficient piece of work’ immediately before it explodes, leaving him looking both peeved and sheepish. Delgado gets to dress up as a RN officer and takes a salute from a passing parade. At the end, they face each other for a fencing match, which the Doctor wins while eating a sandwich and looking amused while the Master loses his sense of humour: no wonder he wants to kill the smug git.
This is another very entertaining episode. Michael E Briant directs with some style, throwing in shots through floor grilles, and a Dutch tilt. As these are now being made two episodes a fortnight this is as well rehearsed as Episode One, with the running joke of everyone being irritated by Trenchard being pushed just far enough, as he boringly corners Hart to talk about golf while the captain and Jo roll their eyes.
Next episode: The Sea Devils – Episode Three